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Depression in the Geriatric Community Today, depression, the common cold of mental illnesses, affects an alarming number of people. Estimates project that about 9? percent of the general population suffers from a depression disorder, equating to an astonishing 18. 8 million Americans. In addition, one out of twenty people will suffer from major depressive disorder this year general loss of interest and energy, and an inability to experience pleasure (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 2001). The costs of depression are astounding, costing our country 43 billion dollars annually in medical expenses, missed workdays, and premature death usually suicidal in nature (American Psychiatric Association (APA), 1998). After viewing these statistics, one has to wonder what exactly depression is and why is it so hard to control.
Definition Depression, loosely defined, is a disorder marked by a state of deep and pervasive sadness, dejection and hopelessness, accompanied by feelings of fatigue, apathy, and low self-worth (Bourne and Russo 1998). Being very complex in nature, depression can be simply characterized as such, many different symptoms that combine into one effect on the mind deep feeling of sadness. Not only is depression widespread, but it is also associated with many other psychological conditions, with many physical diseases, and most certainly, with social and external factors (Schwartz and Schwartz, 1993). While all people are vulnerable to developing a depressive illness, there is no definitive cause of depression. Instead, there are certain risk factors or triggers to be aware of.
There are several schools of thought or categories of risk factors that can play a role in becoming depressed or increase the likelihood that one will become depressed. Genetic causes depression can run in families. It can hereditarily be passed on, increasing the vulnerability of an individual to become depressed. For example, if one twin has depression, the other twin has a 70 percent chance of being depressed at some point in their life (APA, 1998) Biological causes these studies currently focus on the bodys neuro chemical relationships, hormone levels in the endocrine system, and the activities of the limbic system.
Environmental causes events that happen in the course of our everyday lives. These may include situations such as prolonged stress at home or work, coping with the loss of a loved one, traumatic events, or childhood difficulties. Stress can result from physical illness, from the inability to cope with certain life events, such as separation and loss, and from significant changes, such as marriage, and childbirth (Schwartz & Schwartz, 1993). Social and cultural factors, such as poverty, segregation, and sexism, too, may create a stress, making people more susceptible to depression. Psychological causes personality and its development and consequences of child rearing can psychologically promote mood disorders. People with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or who are generally pessimistic appear to be vulnerable to depression (APA, 1998).
Baby Boomers, the generation of Americans born immediately following World War II through the early 1960 s, seem to have higher rates of depression episodes then other generations. This may be attributable to the emotional disruptions of growing up in the 1950 's and 60 's in America, because of its unprecedented rates of divorce and relocation, leading to the disconnection of family, friends, and community. In addition, Baby Boomers came of age during a time of record economic expansion, creating great expectations of wealth and success. Another consideration is their enormous numbers as a population, creating extraordinary competition for schools, jobs, and housing, which may have made many of their dreams unattainable. The feelings of disappointment, frustration, or failure one feels when goals are not achieved, can lead to depression. Teenagers are at risk for depression.
The evidence is in teen suicide rates, which are increasing yearly. Part of the increase in youth suicide comes from the ranks of college students, where suicide is the leading cause of death (Coon, 2001). The growing rate of depression in this group may reflect growing pressure on young people to attend college and meet the high expectations of their peers, parents, and themselves, developing a low self-esteem resulting from these failures. Symptoms The primary symptoms of depression are loss of interest, loss of energy, and an inability to experience pleasure. Sadness associated with depression is often described as inescapable, making it more painful than normal sadness, which the person may or may not be able to remember having. Depression can be so overwhelming that a person cannot recognize the symptoms.
Many symptoms are revealed only when treatment begins. There are many symptoms that are included in the diagnosis of depression. They are: Loss of energy most depressed people experience an overwhelming loss of energy, causing the person to stay home and avoid social interaction, preventing a person from starting or finishing projects, maintaining previous interests, or exercising. Feelings of worthlessness depressed people often feel that they are not good at anything and not important to anyone, making it impossible for them to accept compliments, or to recognize their achievements.
Sleep disruption most depressed people suffer from insomnia, causing a loss of energy, excessive daytime sleepiness, and fatigue. In contrast, some depressed people sleep a lot during the day and longer than normal at night. Feelings of isolation may cause people with depression to sleep too much. Metal disorders ar becoming mor prevalent in todays society as popl add stores and pressure to the daily liv's. Th larry population is not laminated as a candidate for a disorder just because thy may b retired.
In fact, metal disorders act 1 in 5 larry popl. On would think that with disorders bing rather prevalent in this ag group that thr would b an abundance of treatment programs, but this is not th cas. Because th diagnosis of an individuals metal stat is subjective in natur, many trouble popl go untreated regularly (summer 1998). Depression in th larry population is a common occurred, yt th diagnosis and treatment sm to slip through th cracks. Depression is an xml of a may condition that may slip through th cracks when it coms to detection.
Th health car industry contribute to th overlooking of depression in th larry because of th overwhelming did to kp costs down. Th factors of depression ar opn for interpretation, which results in different doctors looking for different things. In addition to that, larry popl may not xzibit th traditional symptoms of depression it. Agd individuals may hav symptoms of depression that go unnoticed du th fact that thos symptoms ar bing attribute to a different ailment. On half of all dorsad patint's sn by general physicians ar not identified as dorsad (August 1995).
Also, som of th things popl look for in dating depression ar things that society sms to think ar th norm for our ldr's (October 1999). In addition, thr appear to b a fw fundamental diffracts btwn depression in th young and old. larry popl tnd to hav mor id ational symptoms, which ar read to thoughts, idas, and guilt. larry dorsad individuals ar also mor like to hav psychotic dprssiv and melancholic symptoms such as anorexia and wight loss. Finally, or popl tnd to hav mor anxiety print in the depression than your patint's do (with 1996). In th natural or of things, books tnd to war down som what and popl bcom high risk candidate for various health problems.
It is th increase in health problems that allows for som symptoms of depression to b overlooked. Doctors been to attribute all problems and ailments to th primary problem, neglecting th possibility of depression. Th prvalnc of low blood pressure is on of thos itms that do increase as an individual ags. Th correlation of depression with low blood pressure also increase as tim pass, particularly among mn. A study by Barrett-Connor and Palinkas indicate mn with low blood pressure score significantly high on both th motion and physical itms of a depression tst (February 1994).
Ths sam individuals also score high on mature of pessimism, sadness, loss of appoint, wight loss, and preoccupation with health than did popl with normal blood pressure. Som big that because low blood pressure can caus fatigue, any with ths two symptoms could possibly b diagnosed with depression. This is a snowball fact whr th low blood pressure cause th fatigue, which in turn cause some to fl users, which further drops into othr possible dorsad symptoms. An interesting sid not to this study was that th low blood pressure found in th patint's was not directly read to any chronic health condition (February 1994). Low blood pressure is not th only risk factor for th dvlopmnt of depression. Som othr factors includ loss dating with jobs, status, finance, physical ability, or relocation.
Family problems dating with divorce, siblings, children, or a date can also snd on on a downward spiral. Chang's in th brain such as durand adaptive capacity, neurotransmitter and raptor chang's, cognitive impairment, and dementia increase th risk of depression (with 1996). As mor factors ntr th question and th patient bcom's mor dorsad, th likelihood of a suicide attempts increase. As previously motion, diagnosing depression in th larry can b a challenging task du to all of th factors involved. When considering if an individual is dorsad, on must xmin th individuals background, cognition, medical history, tc. In or to diagnose depression, thr ar written and oral inventories of a persons mind that nd to b performed.
Symptoms of svr depression includ: diminished interest in usual activities, significant wight loss or gain, insomnia or hyprsomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, fatigue or loss of ny, flings of worthlessness or guilt, diminished ability to concentrate, and recurrent thoughts of date or suicide. Depression dos not always hav to b svr. To b diagnosed with mild depression or dysphoria, th mood of th patient would first nd to...
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